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Discovery emerges as potential BT Sport suitor

Discovery has reportedly entered into talks with BT to buy BT Sport.

This is a late development for the for-sale broadcaster, which is said to be in the late stages of negotiations with DAZN regarding a £600 million takeover deal.

By contrast to DAZN, which reportedly wants to buy the broadcaster, the FT claims that Discovery has offered to create a joint sports venture with BT.

Discovery, which has also agreed a joint-venture entertainment deal with AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, has proposed the idea of combining its efforts with BT to create a larger competitor to Sky Sports. Discovery is the European rights holder to the Olympics while BT’s flagship property is the UEFA Champions League.

Discovery has evidently seen an opportunity to sweep in due to the stalling of talks between BT and DAZN. DAZN has demanded assurances over revenues, while BT wants to continue the value-add that gives its broadband subscribers access to the channel.

The FT report adds that BT plans to make a decision on whether to partner with Discovery or sell to DAZN by the end of 2021.

Pubcaster ITV was mooted as a potential buyer of BT Sport, but it ruled out an acquisition in the summer.

BT stated its intentions to explore options for BT Sport earlier this year, with a multi-hundred-million-pound deal being used as a means to fund the operator’s ongoing fibre expansion across the UK.

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